Both boys really enjoy school and both for different reason! The school can obviously appeal to both varied characters. From a parent’s point of view I feel very well-informed and supported.
(Parent Survey November 2015)
Cholsey School’s Vision and Values
In 2013, following our extensive building works and conversion to academy status, we put together ‘Our Learning Journey’ 2013-2018’. This was created after working with children, staff, parents, governors and representatives of the local community. We continue to use it, together with our long-standing mission statement, ‘Preparing children for the future through academic excellence and individual care’ to underpin all that we do.
In addition, we have recently done some work with children, staff and governors to create our Cholsey Thrive Wheel (please click on the link to see the wheel) – a living representation of the things we believe in. At the centre of the wheel is why we do what we do; then how we go about doing things; and around the outside what we do.
The Thrive Wheel matches perfectly with our vision of a spider’s web in which all aspects of school life are linked together. Children, staff and governors had an active assembly or meeting where we threw a ball of string to one another whilst identifying all the things we are good at and that are important to us. This created a ‘spider’s web’ and illustrated how everything we do, and all the different groups of people, are linked together. Since then we have celebrated the silver dew drops of excellence and worked together on any parts of the web that we felt have been damaged. Our recent successes in maths and swimming tournaments, our fantastic music day and our excellent writing progress this year would be examples of dew drops. The children in assembly identifying that good manners have slipped recently would be an example of a ragged piece of the web which needs extra work. The web has been set in the context of the five core British values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
At the top of the web is the statement – Our vision is to be an excellent school where we equip everyone to be a learner for life, and at the bottom is the community context within which the school lives.
From the work with children, staff and governors it was clear that for Cholsey School ‘Why’ equals ‘Caring’ or ‘Because we care’. Everything we do should be tested against this fundamental belief that it is being done because we care – whether we are staff, governors, parents or children. We do it because we care – in the widest sense. We care about good academic results across the school; we care about individual people (small and big) being the best they can; we care about wellbeing and fulfilment; we care about being happy and secure; we care about being curious and safe; we care about being financially prudent and astute.
Around this core are our 8 ‘Hows’. These are the “ways we do things around here” and they underpin our behaviour, attitudes and approaches to interactions. They come from the work we did with the ball of string. These ‘Hows’ can be applied to anything and everything we do – whether it’s how we behave in the playground, in the staff room or at a governors’ meeting; how staff appraisals are conducted; how children are encouraged (and disciplined); and how we have conversations with parents.
Around that are the ‘Whats’– the things we do to deliver what we offer. It isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of everything and is more about the strategies and types of things. These are included on post-its which can be changed or added to as this is an on-going piece of work.